Mobility and Cosmopolitanism
Complicating the interaction between aspiration and practice
In academic descriptions of cosmopolitanism, one particularly important distinction often recurs. Specifically, scholars have been concerned to distinguish between cosmopolitanism as a set of mundane practices and/or competences on the one hand and cosmopolitanism as a cultivated form of consciousness or moral aspiration on the other. For anthropologists whose ethnographic studies reveal many different expressions of cosmopolitanism, this distinction between aspiration and practice can often be quite ambiguous. This book therefore brings together five contributions from anthropologists who are reporting on encounters and aspirations that reveal different forms of spatial mobility, scales of commitment or risk, and are often transient, ambivalent and precarious. These are circumstances in which cosmopolitanism emerges as uneven and partial rather than as a comprehensive or unequivocal transformation of practice and outlook.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
Table of Contents
1. Mobility and cosmopolitanism: complicating the interaction between aspiration and practice 2. Circumscribed cosmopolitanism: travel aspirations and experiences 3. The dialectics of urban cosmopolitanism: between tolerance and intolerance in cities of strangers 4. Micro-cosmopolitanisms at the urban scale 5. ‘Like a foreigner in my own homeland’: writing the dilemmas of return in theVietnamese American diaspora 6. Cultivating the cosmopolitan child in Silicon Valley
Vered Amit is Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University (Canada). She is the author or editor of 13 books including most recently, Thinking through Sociality: An Anthropological Interrogation of Key Concepts. Most of her research projects have included an interrogation of various forms of spatial mobility.
Pauline Gardiner Barber is Professor of Anthropology at Dalhousie University. Her research focuses upon how global migration is reshaping class and gender relations in the Philippines. In addition to edited volumes, recent articles appear in Dialectical Anthropology, Focaal, Third World Quarterly, and Anthropologica. She is co-editor of the Routledge series Gender in a Global Local World